The Moment

Published Jan 30, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 20 Contributors

    20 photos selected by

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer
    • 0

    I saw this little White Chested Emerald taking his time, waiting his/her turn to go to the feeder...

    #moment #whitechestedemerald #themoment #hummingbird #flight #action #trinidad #nature

    What a fantastic group of images to get to experience as the curator of this Your Shot assignment, The Moment.

    Was it tough to select the final group of images to best illustrate this theme? Yes, it was. The caliber of work, in general, was very high. So how does one take this large body of photographs and choose the "best” images? It was difficult for sure.   

    First, during this process, I had to constantly remind myself of the assignment: The Moment. Many fine photos were shared in the group, and many of those didn’t exactly fit that filter. Some were about place, some were about character, others were about landscape. So using the criteria that this assignment was about “moment” helped to give clarity and direction to the process.

    Moments can be large, loud, and in your face. They can also be soft, gentle, and intimate. Some of the large and explosive moments made it into the final selection, as did some of the quiet and personal moments. It really came down to the power of the image.

    The rising sun provides plenty of backlight for this 'moment in time' as a solo fisherman at Snap...

    #landscape #travel2013 #ocean #themoment #water #fishing #australia #goldcoast #travel #nature #wave

    Editor's Note

    I love this photo. The gigantic moment of the wave crashing against the shore balanced by the figure of the fisherman created such a compelling image. Adding great light to the photo really pushed ... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    Afternoon prayer ceremony at Tengboche Monastery, Nepal. This is where Everest expeditions, start...

    #monks #trekkinginnepal #mountain #prayer #monastery #everestbasecamptrek #culture #travel

    Editor's Note

    The one monk bowing and the other in the beautiful light create a very powerful feeling for this time and place. The monk’s face contained within the shaft of light becomes the center for this imag... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    We decided to have a totally different Xmas in 2009–and wow was it different. Temperature of 42de...

    #moments #kill #internationalcheetahday #savethecheetah #kgalagadi #cheetah #nature

    Editor's Note

    I looked at many wildlife images, but few brought the moment to the foreground like this photo. The composition and timing is impeccable; the lighting is so nice. Look at how the ears of the spring... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    The power of the Criollo horses at the Cabanha Ipuã located in Paranà, Brazil. The Criollo is the...

    #america #moment #mammal #wildlife #parana #horse #wild #gaucho #brazil #animal #south #action #nature

    Editor's Note

    Immersing the viewer of your photography into an image is a great way of engaging that person. Here, the photographer has placed the camera (and hopefully not themselves) in the direct path of thes... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    Photo arose during filming

    #hystoric #cossack #stuntman #battle

    Pacu Jawi consists of two syllables that is meaningful Pacu track, being Jawi mean cow or cows, ...

    #water #bull #animal #race #people #travel

    Some guys on Venice Beach had a big bag of bread and were just tossing it all into the air, where...

    #amazing #california #fly #sea #ocean #bird #animal #los_angeles #seagull #natgeo #nature

    Several things attracted me to the final images. One of the most important factors for me was that the image had to be unique. There's an old saying that everything has been photographed, so what I looked for were images that surprised me, that left me in awe of that particular photo. The image also had to be complete, meaning that a powerful moment couldn't be attained in a frame that was lacking in compositional integrity and structure. Photographers are often so entranced by the great energy of the moment that we forget to think about the composition of the image—what's on the edges of the frame. I suggest that you think of your camera's viewfinder as your "canvas." Like a painter, the photographer is responsible for every square inch of the viewfinder. Also, when the power of a moment starts to build, we often tend to automatically center the image so as not to lose the split second of the moment. When we center something, it usually creates a more boring image. We like asymmetry. Photographs that incorporated composition along with the moment became the unifying thread in the final selection.

    A child was playing with a kite. A magic moment in Itaparica

    #salvadordebahia #play #kite #kid #playing #see #itaparica #brazil #playa #boy

    A street performer is carried upside down along Edinburgh Scotland's famed Royal Mile during the ...

    #uk #scotland #arts #red #performer #fringe #culture #travel #alexsnyder

    This was the ending of a family portrait session, a storm was rolling in over the front range. I ...

    What I love about photography is how every situation presents a unique and one-of-a-kind opportunity: This panorama of life passing before us is never repeated—it’s always special. Approaching a photo opportunity with the idea that there is a best photo to be made, maybe not the best picture ever made, but best for that situation, enhances the possibility of a strong photo.   

    After an afternoon photographing dogs and owners at Town Lake in Austin, Texas, there was just on...

    #texas #reflections #water #retreiver #ball #dog #golden #fetch #lake #austin

    Editor's Note

    As a dog owner, I know this look upon the immediate viewing of this very funny photo. This is about anticipation of moment. I really love the lighting in this, as well as the cityscape of Austin in... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    One day, I visited the quaint village of Gordes, but there were so many tourists, I decided to le...

    #moment #kitten #france #siamese #gordes #smallcats #cat #assignment

    In this picture, a pariah dog and a woman, each on their side. The laying dog reminds me of that ...

    #jodhpur #blue #pariah #straydogs #indian #dog #red #rajasthan #bestoftheworld #india

    The photo was taken at Ngwe Saung Beach, Myanmar. Using waterproof bag to get the low angle and p...

    #water #myanmar #beach #lifestyle #blackdream #adventure #greatnature #people #travel

    Editor's Note

    This image puts the viewer into the frame, thereby really engaging the viewer. Edge to edge information addresses the idea of using your viewfinder as a canvas. The water drops provide visual infor... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    Young Spotted Eagle Rays feed in a shallow lagoon at night, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands. Truly a...

    #spottedeaglerays #narinari #aetobatus #grandcayman #caymanislands

    Nikon D200 Exif: f5.6 ; 1/1250; ISO-250; Focal Lengh-70mm

    #power #amazing #surfers #moment #freshness #splash #respect #sebastiao #energy

    Shot taken at a regional festival in honor of a saint Antonio

    Editor's Note

    A rather devilish-looking image, the fact that the leaper is just hitting the ground, the body mo... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    Shakrain Festival is celebrated in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the end of the Bangla month Poush (Januar...

    #bangladesh #shakhari #shakrain #old #dhaka #bazar

    Editor's Note

    Wow, now this one is just bizarre–one component of why I really like this image. Shooting wide to encompass the background, the photographer waited for the critical moment of flame arising from the... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    Every year I love to climb the beautiful Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala, my country. I was speec...

    #89sec #night #fuego #acatenango #guatemala #november16 #long_exposure #full_moon

    Editor's Note

    This image grabs you by the eyeballs. This would have been an appealing photo without the lightning in the background, but combining two events of nature makes this a striking image. The lesson her... More

    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer

    We communicate primarily through images; this is how we recall the moments of our lives. As visual creatures, we process memory in images, and as the most sophisticated generation ever in terms of visuals, our need for strong photos has never been greater. Bombarded on a daily basis with visually strong ads, movies, and images, we dismiss poor imagery. Every second tens of thousands of snapshots are posted on social media sites, but very few real photographs are shared. So I think the job of the photographer is to create powerful and engaging photographs that will pull viewers into the world of an image-maker.

    About the Editor
    Jay Dickman
    National Geographic Photographer
    Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jay Dickman has shot more than 25 assignments for National Geographic and has visited every continent as an expert and photo instructor on National Geographic Expeditions, recently leading Trekking With the Maasai. He has taught at Sante Fe Workshops and Maine Media Workshops, among others. With his ...

    Photographers Published In the Story